Monday night at the KFC Yum! Center, New Kids on the Block plan to spend the evening giving you “The Package.” And by doing so, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men are along for good measure. As inelegant as that might come across, that’s a statement Donnie Wahlberg, the resident bad boy from NKOTB, made after the boy band tour was announced.
Fans, even casual ones, expect that kind of behavior from Wahlberg. After all, he was charged with arson back in 1991 when he allegedly spent time with fellow Kid Danny Wood partying with some teenage (and underage) fans at the Seelbach Hotel. During that time he was charged with pouring vodka on a carpet and setting it ablaze.
Things are different for NKOTB 22 years later. The group hosts cruise ship tours that sell out every year. They have a new project called “10 that they’re promoting.” And lip-syncing is no longer the affront to society it once was.
Back in the day, a music teacher who was also listed as an associate producer on the “Step by Step” album went public with those allegations which he later recanted after a defamation lawsuit was filed against him. The charges damaged the New Kids image however since they came on the heels of the Milli Vanilli scandal.
However, there’s no denying that during the late 80s and early 90s, New Kids on the Block were on top of the world with legions of fans singing along with “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “Hanging Tough,” “Step by Step” and other monster hits. They even made the Forbes list of highest paid entertainers with the likes of Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson.
During the Monday night show, 98 Degrees will bring their act to town as well. During the 90s boy band craze, they were one of the few singing groups that formed organically and then found a record deal. Usually, singers were put together by a music producer after auditions because the group had to fit a certain image that would play well on MTV. Nick Lachey became the breakout star by virtue of marrying fellow singer Jessica Simpson and doing a reality show.
Opening the proceedings will be the trio Boyz II Men. They formed in Philadelphia as a quartet but bass man Michael McCary had to retire due to health reasons. With songs like “End of the Road” and “On Bended Knee” the group did something no one had done before. They still occupy the number one, three and four spots for longest running number one singles in the history of the Billboard chart. Flawless harmonies will do that for you.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when all that shrieking came from young teen and tween girls during the One Direction concert at the KFC Yum! Center? Monday night, it’ll start all over again. Except this time it will be the mothers screaming as they relive their high school years with their entertainment idols. As of this writing, tickets are still available.
Here's how NKOTB looked on the Today Show on May 31.
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